This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
BBC has made an effort to claim its openness and transparency by publishing thousands of pages of evidence gathered during an inquiry into Newsnight’s decision to drop its investigation into the deceased ex-presenter Jimmy Savile.
Around 3,000 pages of emails, interviews and submissions from BBC executives and journalists, including Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, were made available online to explain the reason behind pulling out the planned investigation against the former BBC presenter.
Acting director-general Tim Davie has told: “The BBC has been open and transparent in its handling of this unhappy chapter in our history. It has not been an entirely comfortable process for us to go through but it is right that we did it this way.
“It is important that the BBC now moves forward with the lessons learned and continues to regain the public’s trust.”
BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten has assured at the time of the report’s publication that all the evidence would be released, besides from some redactions due to “legal reasons”. Legal teams are said to have been sorting through the evidence for several weeks, deciding what should be made public.
According to the BBC claims, around 3 percent of the content of the transcripts has been redacted by lawyers due to the concerns of defamation of other BBC employees. However, the removal of few comments has sparked speculation of taking into account the controversial evidence in an effort to spare embarrassment for the broadcaster over its handling of the Savile scandal.
During late 2011, the BBC’s Newsnight programme ended an investigation into Savile, a move that later faced criticism and raised the concerns that the decision was the result of an undue pressure from senior management.
Nick Pollard, a former head of Sky News – was appointed to conduct the review during December last year to investigate the causes behind the decision to cancel a six week investigation into abuse claims against Savile in December 2011. The Pollard Review came with a conclusion of shelving the inquiry into sexual abuse claims against the television star was “seriously flawed” while having enough evidence to conclude its investigation.
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